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10 Success Rules Your Mom Taught You

Your mother knew you wanted to be successful, so she taught you these timeless rules.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, so I thought it would be useful to review the timeless lessons about business (and life) that your mom shared with you, probably more than once. I wrote something like this a while back, but I like this list better:

1. Look both ways before crossing the street.

Taking risks is a big part of life, but it's always a good idea to think twice before you take them.

2. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Never badmouth your competitors, your customer's competitors and especially your other customers.

3. Anything worthwhile takes effort.

While opportunities may drop in your lap, taking advantage of them always requires hard work.

4. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Most workplace hassles are the result of people NOT following this simple but universal rule.

5. Eat your vegetables, they're good for you.

What's the point of having money if you don't have your health? Eating healthy foods should be part of every success plan.

6. Go play outside! It's a beautiful day!

Whenever possible, spend at least some of your workday out of your office and breathing the fresh air.

7. Turn off that light. Do you think we own the electric company?

It's all too easy to ignore the small expenses that, when added up, can destroy your profitability.

8. Don't sit so close to the TV, it'll ruin your eyes.

Most of us spend WAY too much time glued to our computer screens, our tablets and our cell phones. Take break!

9. Are you going out dressed like that?

Like it or not, people judge you by what you're wearing and how you wear it. Be mindful of the effect you're having.

10. Life isn't fair.

The world does not owe you a living and you'll have to play the cards that you get dealt, so make the most of it.

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IMAGE: Getty
Last updated: May 13, 2013


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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